10 Couples That Make Us Go “Huh?”

Some relationships look like a match made in heaven—and then there are those couples who seem so odd, you wonder: Why are they together? Here, we try to answer that question.

By Amy Spencer

TomKat (a.k.a. Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes)
What mission is this box-office stud on when he goes from marrying sophisticated Aussie Nicole Kidman to dating sexpot Penelope Cruz to romancing... every tweenager’s favorite girl next door from Dawson’s Creek? After Tom’s lovesick episode on Oprah’s couch and Katie’s talking about how she fell for her 16-years-older beau in just a couple
A member of the Kennedy clan and an Austrian muscleman? It works for them.
of weeks, many felt this union would be over in a heartbeat. But now that the pair are brand new parents, are planning their wedding, and keep looking at each other with pure adoration—well, it looks like this couple may be in it for the long haul after all! Maybe what makes this twosome tick is just that secret something known as chemistry.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
She’s a descendent of the elegant, eloquent Kennedy clan that’s spawned so many fine Democrats; he’s an Austrian bodybuilder famed for cartoonish movie lines like “I’ll be back”—and a staunch Republican. Now, an 18-year marriage, four kids and being governor of California may have softened Arnold’s roughest edges. But while you can take Arnold out of the action flicks—you can’t take the action flicks out of Arnold. Did Maria and her family cringe when he ranted about “economic girly men” at the Republican National Convention? We know we did, but nothing seems to faze this complex couple.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono
When the kooky Japanese performance artist asked the legendary rock star to hammer an imaginary nail into a wall at her 1966 London exhibit, a romance for the ages took flight. When the Beatles broke up in 1970, many blamed Yoko, but Lennon evolved from mop-top pop star into a visionary singing “Imagine,” and credited his wife (7 years his senior) for inspiring him. Still, with their “bed-ins,” during which they refused to leave their bed in the name of peace, and their posing nude on album covers and for interviews, this is one odd couple that never failed to keep people wondering about that strange thing known as chemistry.

Kermit The Frog and Miss Piggy
When this bossy blond pig dragged her lanky green beau down the aisle in The Muppets Take Manhattan, we have to admit: We were worried. Would Kermit survive Miss Piggy’s temper tantrums and karate chops? Did he marry her purely because he feared what she’d do to him if he didn’t? Probably, for as Miss Piggy has told the press, “I’ve always been a great believer in compromise. I believe, and Kermie compromises.”
Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller
Typewriter-pecking intellectuals like Arthur Miller (who wrote the classic play, Death of a Salesman) belong with other typewriter-pecking intellectuals. And baby-doll-voiced bombshells belong with sports stars or perhaps politicians. Nonetheless, Monroe and Miller were married for four years before they parted ways to fulfill their rightful destinies: famed playwright, infamous singer of “happy birthday” songs. What drew them together continues to mystify.

Father Ralph and Meggie Cleary from The Thorn Birds
In this best-selling book and TV mini-series from the 1983, a priest breaks his vows and sheds his cloth (and everything else for that matter) to bed down with an apple-cheeked girl in town. And she gets pregnant. Clearly, a union that involves a man torn between God and woman ain’t easy.

James Carville and Mary Matalin
You know the old adage that couples should never go to bed without resolving any issues they have with each other? Then we can only guess that political pundits and polar opposites Carville (Democrat) and Matalin (Republican) haven’t slept in their 11 years of
What does a dazed rock star have in common with a savvy business manager? A lot, apparently.
marriage. “Not every guy has a wife who calls him a serpent-head — or worse — in front of a couple of million people,” Carville has said to the press about their TV appearances. One can only hope they see eye to eye on who does the dishes after dinner.

Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester
Charlotte Bronte’s Victorian novel Jane Eyre depicts an orphan-turned-governess falling head over heels for the gristled old grouch who owns the house. OK, so maybe Jane saw something good in the guy. But when it’s revealed at their wedding that he’s already married, and his first wife is mad and living in the attic? Well, that should have set off some alarm bells. Nonetheless, Jane takes off only to return years later to tend to an even grouchier, gristlier Mr. Rochester. Honey, he so doesn’t deserve you.

Ozzy Osbourne and Sharon Osbourne
What does a dazed rock star have in common with a savvy business manager? Apparently, opposites attract. When Ozzy was fired from his band Black Sabbath, Sharon picked up her Humpty Dumpty’s pieces, put him back together as the solo star of Ozzfest and orchestrated their reality-TV success The Osbournes. He mumbles, she negotiates, but clearly these two speak the same language of love.

Muschi and Mouse
This unlikely pair met about five years ago at the Berlin Zoo, when Muschi, a tiny domestic black cat, climbed into the cage of a half-ton bear named “Little Mouse.” Rather than turning Muschi into a midnight snack, Mouse welcomed his new roommate. “They sunbathed together and shared meals of raw meat, dead mice, fruit and bread,” said a zoo spokesman. When the cat was shooed out last year, the puss sat outside the cage pining for months until zookeepers let her back in. We’re stumped what these two see in each other, but let’s just say nature never ceases to surprise.

Amy Spencer is a New York-based writer who covers relationships for Cosmopolitan and other magazines. Researching this story made her realize how complicated couplehood can be—and she's quite happy being single, thank you.
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